[sny-editorial userid=”16692447″]The Zack Wheeler era begins tonight in Atlanta.
Is this the start of new era? Yes and no, but more no, than yes. David Wright’s consistent excellence aside, Matt Harvey’s brilliance has been the storyline over the season’s first half that makes Mets’ fans hope that there can be a playoff berth at the end of this 2013 mess. As of 7 pm tonight, it will become the Wright/Harvey/Wheeler era. Soon, Travis d’Arnaud, a fourth potential All-Star will join the mix. This is simply the next step.
Wheeler has an electric arm. He is 94-96 with a fastball with big time explosion out of his hand. Given his adrenaline for his debut, I almost expect multiple 98 mph offerings. His slider can be a wipeout pitch down in the zone. His curveball can be vicious. However, at times he has trouble throwing his breaking stuff for strikes and keeping it in the zone. At best, the changeup is ordinary. In 2013, it will not be a major piece of his arsenal. His fastball command is nothing special. In the minors, he often survived and thrived, on the velocity without needing to locate the pitch precisely. In the big leagues, he will get away with fewer mistakes. However, his natural ability will carry him through.
Piece-by-piece the Mets are shedding the useless and adding. A major piece joins the team tonight. Wheeler is here.